Wha : an exhibition of Māori stereotypes in contemporary New Zealand : an exhibition report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Māori Visual Arts, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The purpose of this project was to explore the idea of Māori stereotypes within society through a creative practice based approach. Packaged artworks were displayed in an exhibition space challenging conventional exhibition expectations. The packaging of artworks, was applied as a metaphor for how Māori are boxed into stereotypes that define Māori as a product, object or thing. The study investigated how packaging and labelling artwork allows discourse around how epistemologies seek to define indigenous cultures within socio-­ethnological contemporary frameworks. This research involved seeking examples of Māori stereotypes in media and the arts and exploring how they affect self-­ perception. Research was also conducted around the work of contemporary Māori artist models who explored the theme of identity. The methodological framework aligns itself with theories around stereotypes and how these affect opinions about identity. This exegesis seeks to contribute to discourse around culture, indigenous values, and contemporary interpretations of Māori language and cultural property rights. This exegesis explores the questions;; How can ideas around stereotyping and the construction of identity inform my art practice? How does the packaging of culture, people/s and belongings affect Māori self-­determination? How can packaged and labelled artworks create a context where bicultural partnership may be considered?
Maori in art, Ethnic identity, Art, Maori, Stereotypes